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Bill to have FEC regulation of 527's introduced

AP reports: Sen. John McCain and others pushing for tougher campaign finance rules won a surprising ally Wednesday as they announced a renewed effort to block partisan interest groups from spending millions of dollars in big donations in congressional and presidential races.

Sen. Trent Lott, chairman of the Senate Rules Committee, said he voted against sweeping campaign fund-raising restrictions won by McCain, Sen. Russ Feingold and others in 2002 but now agrees with the law's supporters that further legislation is needed to stop groups from circumventing the new rules.

Lott called six- and seven-figure checks that independent political groups poured into last year's presidential election "sewer money" that must be stopped. The Mississippi Republican said his committee would vote next month on legislation that would put strict new limits on fund-raising and spending by partisan tax-exempt groups active in congressional or presidential races.

The proliferation of new groups that spent millions in the presidential race was an unintended consequence of the 2002 law that banned national party committees and congressional and presidential candidates from accepting big checks, Lott said. Money that used to go to the political parties simply moved to other partisan groups, he said. -- BostonHerald.com - National Politics: McCain, allies aim to block big money

The bill, S. 271, can be downloaded here. It will be available on Thomas within a few days.